DNP FAQs specific
Specific questions about the DNP practice doctorate
What types of national certification are acceptable?
Application reviewers consider holding national certification to be an indication of the applicant's commitment to providing quality care. National certification in the applicant's field of focus, be it public health, advanced nursing practice, administration or executive leadership are equally well regarded if they reflect the applicant's focus of expertise.
What if I want to switch from another graduate program to the DNP program, will credits from other graduate programs transfer? What if I already have two master's degrees or a Post-Master's certificate?
Credits may be transferred from another institution if they were earned while the student was enrolled as a graduate student at the institution, and if approved by the student's adviser and the Graduate Studies Committee in the Ohio State College of Nursing. Students may petition to have previous coursework accepted as equivalent to required DNP courses. However, granting of a petition cannot be presumed. It depends on the degree of match between the previous course and the courses at Ohio State for which it is to be substituted. Petition for the transfer of credit for completed coursework at other institutions should be made during the first quarter of study in the DNP program.
Is part time study an option?
Yes, part time study is an option. Students usually follow a three-year plan of study as opposed to a two-year plan for full time students. The last year of enrollment is full time study in the immersion and scholarly project courses. This is necessary to meet the residency reqruirements of the Graduate School for all doctoral students.
What happens if I complete my program for education as an advanced practice nurse before 2015, the year in which a DNP degree will be required for entry into practice?
You will continue to have all the rights and privileges of your advanced nursing practice specialty for which you hold national certification. However, you will not be awarded a DNP degree automatically. Similar to post-master's DNP students currently in the program, you would need to enroll in the DNP program and earn the degree.
Should I enroll now for my master's degree or wait?
We anticipate that students will require 3 years of full time education after the baccalaureate degree to obtain the DNP degree. However, we believe that most students will prefer a four-year plan of study to more easily accommodate clinical hours for their specialty preparation for certification. This is the same amount of time that full time students would currently need to obtain both their master's degree and their DNP degree in the current program of study. Students completing the master's program will be able to apply to continue graduate study towards the DNP degree.
Is it possible to continue working while in the DNP program?
Virtually all part time students continue to work full time. Full time students are able to work part time comfortably. Although some may choose to work full time, this would be very stressful for most full time students and is discouraged by faculty advisors.
Is the program available in distance format?
Yes, all required courses in the DNP program are available in distance learning format using a variety of both synchronous and asynchronous technologies. The day and time for required DNP courses remains the same year to year allowing students to plan their work and travel schedules well in advance.
In general, part time students may expect to be in synchronous online learning experiences one evening per week from 5:15-8:30 PM on Thursday for students in year one and Wednesday evenings for part time students in year two. Year three for part time students is asynchronous. Full time students may expect to be online for synchronous learning experiences two evenings per week, Wednesday and Thursday, from 5:15 to 8: PM in the first year of study. The second year of study is asynchronous. Participation in class discussion periods is required except in special circumstances.
How much on-campus time is required?
There is a required, full two-day orientation for all students starting DNP study. One full day of orientation is required in each subsequent year of DNP study. Orientation experiences provide students with the opportunity to network with fellow DNP students, plan with academic advisor for the coming year's study and develop the final document project.
How are electives selected and taken?
Electives are an important mechanism for allowing DNP students to customize their programs of study to best meet each person's unique clinical focus. The student's advisor assists the student in selecting an appropriate option from the many coures available at Ohio State. However, most electives are not available in distance format.
Students may meet the elective requirement through transfer of credit for coursework from previous graduate work. Also, students may take elective courses at colleges or universities near their place of residence and transfer the credit to meet the elective requirements. These must be selected with the advisor and pre-approved by the College of Nursing Graduate Studies Committee.
As a graduate student at The Ohio State University, all graduate courses available in the University are open to the DNP student with instructor permission. This includes graduate courses in computer science, sociology, political science, education, public health, psychology, and all of the arts and sciences. Ohio State graduate students may also take online courses available through the Big Ten Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) CourseShare and Traveling Scholar options http://www.cic.net/Home/Projects/SharedCourses.aspx. Advisors assist students in selecting appropriate courses. College of Nursing Graduate Studies Committee approval is not required for elective courses taken at Ohio State or through the CIC.
In addition, the Graduate School offers a variety of Graduate Interdisciplinary Specializations (GIS). The area of specialization is identified on the student's final transcript. Areas of specialization frequently selected by DNP students include: Gerontology, Early Intervention, College and University Teaching, and Global Health. Information about the specializations is available at http://ucat.osu.edu/gis/. Finally, DNP students may select an additional clinical focus such as psychiatric mental health, acute care, or any other specialization offered by the College of Nursing to meet their elective requirements.
Will I need to take a statistics course?
If you have never taken a graduate level statistics course, you will need to take a statistics course. If you have taken one or more graduate statistics courses within the last five years, you will not need to take another course. A graduate statistics course is highly recommended for students whose graduate statistics work is longer than five years ago. The student's advisor assists with the student in selecting an appropriate option from the many courses available at Ohio State. If a statistics course is taken it meets a portion of the requirement for elective credit.
What is the Professional Doctoral Examination (Candidacy) all about?
The Ohio State Graduate School requires a written professional doctoral examination prior to the beginning of intensive professional experiences. In the DNP program this is the clinical immersion experience. DNP students take the exam after completing all of their required coursework except the immersion courses and execution of the final document project hours. Ordinarily this occurs at the beginning of summer session. DNP Subcommittee members develop a set of questions focused on the DNP coursework. DNP students have two weeks in which to complete their written responses. After submission of the responses to the student's examination committee,a two-week reading period begins for faculty on the students' committees. The chair of each committee polls the members for their judgement of a satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance. The chair notifies the student of the exam results. If a student receives a grade of unsatisfactory, the committee members meet with the student to provide advice for improving responses to the questions for the second taking of a new examination.
What can I expect in the DNP Clinical Immersion Experience?
A doctoral clinical immersion experience is required for all students. It occurs in the final year of study after successful completion of the Professional Doctoral Examination for candidacy for the DNP degree. This consists of 410 hours of clinical experience, which may be completed at the student's current place of employment and within the student's current position. The focus of the immersion is completion of the final document project in addition to customized expansion of the student's expertise in areas of DNP practiced identified in the eight essentials. The immersion also provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate to their supervisors and employers the value added to the student's practice by the DNP. The faculty advisors assist the student in planning a variety of learning experiences which may include intensive experiences outside of the student's usual institution, opening the possibility for national and international experiences.
Is a dissertation required?
No, a dissertation is not required. However, a scholarly final document project is required under the guidance of the student's academic advisor, who serves as the chair of the Final Document Committee, along with two additional committee members from among the university's graduate faculty. A variety of options are available for the final document project including, but not limited to, development of an evidence-based clinical pathway or clinical practice guideline, a translational research project, a significant quality improvement project, program development or program evaluation project. The project proposal is developed during the series of research courses (NURSPRACT 951, 952, 953) and conducted within the context of the DNP clinical immersion experience. For additional details see the DNP Student Handbook.
What about becoming an educator?
Preparation as a nurse educator is in addition to completing the DNP program of study. Preparation to become an educator may not be the focus of the student's DNP immersion experience or final document project.
DNP students may prepare to become educators by completing the Interdisciplinary Graduate Specialization in College and University Teaching. Visit this website for more information: http://ucat.osu.edu/gis/approved_courses.html. Students may also take any of the three nursing education courses taught within the College of Nursing or other courses from the College of Education to build their expertise in teaching.
What is the cost of tuition?
Tuition fees vary for residents and non-residents in the state of Ohio. The most accurate information is available on the web page: http://gradadmissions.osu.edu/Costs.html. Other fees for computer lab use and clinical fees also apply and are detailed on the College of Nursing website.
What funding is available to pay for graduate school?
Funding is available from employment tuition benefits, state and federal loans, and scholarships from the University and the College of Nursing. Please visit the following website for information on available options: www.nursing.osu.edu/FinAid. Students interested in becoming educators may also wish to consider the funding sources available for them on the DNP website and on the AACN website.
Is the DNP program at The Ohio State University accredited?
The Ohio State University College of Nursing will be reviewed by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education (CCNE) for accreditation of the DNP program in November 2010. This will be the intial accreditation review for a program that began educating students in fall of 2008. The baccaulaureate and master's degree programs were reviewed and fully accredited in 2009.
For general questions about the DNP program, go to DNP FAQs General
See Tutition & Fees See Financial Aid